I’d like our Chapter to be the first in the country to get some key learnings from a recent study commissioned by the PCMA National Digital Strategy Taskforce.
I have served for several years on this taskforce, which in the past was devoted mainly to sharing information regarding emerging technology. At Convening Leaders 2014, we decided to take a more project-based approach and develop some member research.
Our gut feel was that member planners were somewhat overwhelmed by the technology options, and PCMA could do a better job of providing resources to educate and inform planners on their choices.
We decided to issue a survey that covered a broad list of technology solutions. Some of them were:
- Online registration
- Social media
- Event polling
- Mobile event apps
- Virtual Tradeshow Software
- …and more
We sent the survey via email to almost 10,000 members and non-members. We received a 4.8% response rate, of which respondents closely mirrored our membership demographics.
The survey basically asked:
1. Do you use this technology solution?
2. What is your comfort level? (Poor to Excellent)
3. Are you satisfied with this solution? (Unsatisfied to Very Satisfied)
- The research indeed revealed significant gaps in knowledge across the board on all technology areas. Satisfaction was also low.
- Through this snapshot, which is representative of the membership as a whole, we have confirmed that planners do need additional resources provided by PCMA to better understand technology choices.
- Almost half of the respondents to this survey were non-engaged members, lapsed members or non-members. This is a hot-button issue that will be a means to engage new planners with PCMA.
- There are some correlations of age and size of meetings to usage and satisfaction we still need to uncover that that could provide additional insights.
- There were good write-in responses that we’ll need to bucket into categories.
- There will be a need to disseminate this study. We’ll need to decide how broadly and through what means.
In addition, the DSTF will be asked for input in the imagining of Technology Central at Convening Leaders 2016. This is a natural outcrop of this research, as well as a great opportunity to extend the impact of our taskforce. We will get some initial ideas from HQ and then will probably need to organize into some work groups for those that wish to work on this project.
Some ideas around the types of resources we can develop are:
- Convene content, Convening Leaders tracks/sessions, webinars and web content
- Technology speed dating at PCMA events: different tables (where you're not afraid to ask stupid questions.)
- Panels of planners-only on a specific technology solution
- A “Yelp”-type peer reviewed resource for technology solutions
Please let me know if you, as Heartland Chapter members, have interest in reviewing the research. The ultimate goal is for the Digital Strategy Taskforce to recommend tools and resources for development.
If you are interested in participating in the next phase, please let me know!